Coming Soon!

The doldrums of summer seems to be in full swing here folks. Save for the various movie tie-in games, we won’t be getting much else. May I suggest a good book?

Remember. Release dates are quite literally made at the whims of the publisher.  The following are subject to change without any warning.

Honorable Mention

NCAA Football 13 (Xbox 360, PS3)

Tuesday July 10, 2012
Perennially considered to be the “little brother” to the Madden NFL Football franchise, NCAA Football has recently surpassed its elder brother as the best football game on the market. This year NCAA faces a steep uphill battle with Madden completely overhauling it’s physics and the NCAA institution in upheaval with a brand spanking new playoff system (to debut in 2014), and the continuous conference realignments this years installment will have more than a few glaring dissensions from reality. This year’s updates include a new passing system that will refine QB and WR interactions, not to be left out the defensive side of the ball also will receive a tune up on it’s AI to better read and react to plays unfolding around them. While series staples Road to Glory, Dynasty and Heisman Challenge return with minor updates, the lack of Madden‘s major physics update may be enough to turn off more than a few football fans. Factoring in that this year’s Madden will NOT allow you to import your NCAA draft class, this years college football release looks more underachieving slacker than the top of its class game we’ve come to expect. College football purist should be forewarned that not everything that is in the game, is in the game, and that is damn shame.

Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure (3DS)

Tuesday July 10, 2012
If one week’s worth of rhythm gaming isn’t enough for you, how about two? This week brings us Sega’s Rhythm Thief and the Emperor’s Treasure. Whereas Theatrhythm was aimed at a pretty specific audience, Rhythm Thief looks to be for just about anyone who likes their stories in musical form.

Rhythm Thief basically combines the structure of Professor Layton games with Rhythm Heaven’s rhythm based mini-games. Set in Paris, France, Raphael has carved out a life of art thievery/borrowing all in the name of finding his missing father. As Raphael, you will be able to explore Paris very much the same Professor Layton did. You can even find little medals hidden through out the city by tapping specific parts of the environments. These medals can be used to make the rhythm-based games you come along the way easier.

As you progress the story, you’ll be tasked with helping Raphael get through a variety of situation like sneaking past guards in a museum, jumping from rooftops to rooftops, or just a plain ol’ dance off in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. All of these tasks have you following an onscreen prompt in time with an original soundtrack, so you won’t be tapping your way through the museum to the tune of Britney Spears or anything like that.

Before Guitar Hero, rhythm games used to have its own original music instead of relying on licensed tracks like PaRappa the Rapper or Samba de Amigo. We haven’t seen a rhythm game that doesn’t use licensed track since then. Guitar Hero’s torch has basically been passed on to the various dancing games on the market leaving a void for those of us unwilling to make a fool of ourselves but have the need for some kind of rhythm-based gaming. Will Rhythm Thief be the revival that we’ve been waiting for?

Coming This Week

Tuesday July 10, 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift Arctic Games (Xbox 360 Kinect, Wii, 3DS, DS)

Hey, guess what movie comes out this week! Unfortunately for fans of third person platformers starring loveable characters from the movie that just recently came out, this one has you playing a bunch of mini-games against the pirates for some acorn full of food. And you thought all licensed games are the same.

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